Shortage of HK Express due to Engine Reliability

a320neo hk express

Shortage of HK Express due to Engine Reliability

Shortage of HK Express due to Engine Reliability. The lack of slots at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and the reliability problems of Airbus A320neo Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines have hampered progress on Hong Kong's low-cost HK Express airline.

HK Express is the first North Asian operator on the Airbus A320neo, and the first to fly in a high-density configuration of 188 seats. The four-year airline currently operates three A320neos, first delivered in December 2016, as well as 12 A320 and six A321. However, it has deferred the recently scheduled deliveries of the A320neo due to the reliability problems of the PW1100G.

Although Pratt & Whitney addressed industrial deficiencies involving a shortage of hybrid metal blades for the PW1000G family with plans to open two new assembly facilities this year, separate durability deficiencies, particularly in the A320neos PW1100Gs, have included premature wear of liners of combustion and leakage of oil seals.

"We are supposed to receive two more A320 tours before the summer, but we have refused to accept them for a limited time until these issues are addressed," said HK Express CEO Andrew Cowen. He added that the postponement of the A320news meant that the airline would run out of planes during the busy summer period. "We should have eight by the end of 2017, but this has obviously slipped."

"It's a difficult decision, but we should not leave our passengers and staff [doubting] the reliability of the aircraft," added Cowen.

He also stressed the desire to add more destinations to Japan, China and Southeast Asia, but the limited time slots in HKIA forced him to prioritize certain destinations over the popular ones. "We would love to fly to at least 20 other destinations, but we just can not get slots and slot schedules."

HKIA now operates at more than 90 percent of its capacity, and authorities have only begun to claim land for a third lane and associated infrastructure. Plans require an expanded HKIA to increase hourly movements from 68 to 102.

Cowen expects the U-FLY Alliance to allow the airline to take advantage of the Chinese market and said that China's HK Express and Lucky Air interline reserves system should come into force within the month after linking the Chinese reservation system with the Western System Navitaire.

"If we can not get the slots we will use the A320neo to cycle out of the older A320, which might not have the same specification as the other aircraft, and form the backbone of the airline along the A321ceo," he he concluded.